Bacteria Hazards From Swimming In Lakes

What could be more refreshing on a hot summer day than a dip in the lake? But, while the water may look inviting, it may also be a haven for bacteria and germs.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers has the risks you should know before taking the plunge.

"We've been swimming in this lake for years, I grew up here and I love it," Valerie Rudd said.

Several people hit the shore this weekend at Lake Arrowhead.

Many venturing out in the water to help cool off on a nearly unbearable Texoma day.

But not without some hesitation.

"I think it's safer in the pools because in the lakes there could be anything and in the pools, there is a little more precautions," Monse Sanez said.

Lakewater is untreated and can be filled with unseen bacteria that can potentially make you very sick.

We found some swimmers were willing to take that risk.

"You have to be careful with bacteria in swimming pools too," Rudd said.

While she is right, infected swimmers can also spread bacteria in lakes even though it's a much larger body of water.

"Where people swim is the same spots near the shore and in shallow areas. So, everybody is swimming in the same area so bacteria will stay and they want to stay where shallow and warm so the same places people swim is where the bacteria hang out," Dr. Daunne Peters said.

There are also several other ways bacteria can get in the lake water.

It gets in the soil through animal waste, then heavy rainfall washes it into the water.

Which is why it's a not a good idea to dive in after a downpour.

You can get infected by swallowing, breathing or just being in water that has bacteria in it.

"Any type of skin lesion, infection don't get in the water. Don't swim with others. Watch for that type of thing," Dr. Peters said.

"We take really warm showers and wash out hair several time so nothing's in there," Sanez said.

Dr. Peters recommends showering before and after you get in the water and not swimming if you are sick .

"Other type of illnesses, diarrhea, just place don't get in water where other people would be," she said.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6